Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 5:1-7:24; Matthew 3:7-4:11; Psalm 3; Proverbs 1:10-19
I submit to you that this must then include even genealogies. But what is the point of the one we find in Genesis 5? I’m not sure I have all the answers here but let me share what did strike me this morning. First, I noticed that this genealogy starts with God’s creation of Adam and Eve. This genealogy then is tied very closely to the One who created us. It is also very detailed giving the ages at the time of the named son’s birth and how long the individual lived after the birth of that son. There is great controversy about these genealogies when it comes to just how much time actually passed, but I do find it interesting to note that if there are no gaps in Genesis 5 then Noah was alive during the lives of everyone listed except for Adam, Seth and Enoch. Imagine knowing your great, great, great, great, great grandfather!
While I only ever remember five of these men’s names, a new one is standing out to me today…Lamech, Noah’s father. The reason it stands out is because yesterday in chapter 4 I read about another Lamech; the great, great, great grandson of Cain. The genealogy of Cain found in Chapter 4 of Genesis is a much shorter record and not at as detailed as the one found in Genesis 5. The Lamech in Cain’s line does not to appear to be a good person and is the only one written about in any detail, but we learn that he too was a murderer as well as the first polygamist mentioned in the Bible. And here is where I saw a purpose in the genealogies.
First, we have Cain’s, a man who has been separated from God and is living life on his own terms. His family follows suit, and though they are credited with great accomplishments as nomadic farmers and for developing music and metallurgy, they do everything apart from God. Their focus is on worldly success.
Second, we have the Lamech in Adam’s genealogy, the genealogy of a family that has chosen to live as God designed-in marriage as well as in valuing life. We don’t read of any great worldly accomplishments, but we do read of Enoch who enjoyed a close relationship with God and was “taken” by God one day in a way other than death. And then we have this Lamech who fathered Noah and imparted to him a love for the Lord.
What a striking contrast between these two family lines-one chose a life away from God that leads to death-as all of Cain’s descendants were killed in the flood- the other chose a life of faithfulness to God which leads to life; as Seth’s descendants were spared (important to note here that Methuselah and Lamech both died before the flood.) to continue the family line that would eventually bring us the Messiah. Here is the Gospel in a genealogy.
I would like to close with a verse from Matthew. It is Jesus’ response to Satan when He was being tempted:” People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.” (Matthew 4:4, NLT) Oh, let me encourage you to feed on EVERY word of God.
May grace, peace, and mercy from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ be upon you dear reader.